Transformation & Change100

Physical-Digital Transformation at a 125 year-old startup

Physical-Digital Transformation at a 125 year-old startup by Sudhir Nelvagal and K. Lars Bruns

Sudhir Nelvagal, Lars Bruns

March 15, 2018


Researching and experimenting the transformation of a traditional industrial business to adapt and thrive in changing times, two GE engineering leaders share their transformation through stories and pictures – illustrating their shared failures and successes in applying innovative Scrum techniques across GE’s traditional hardware and physical engineering-oriented business units with significant software integrated into their products.

Organizations that undertake an agile transformational journey have multiple challenges to overcome in transitioning to an agile mindset within the organization to ensure positive outcomes and transformational culture change. Doing so at one of the world’s largest conglomerates focused on designing, manufacturing, and servicing large industrial assets brings some unique challenges in adopting scrum and requires creativity, innovation, and persistence.

Sudhir and Lars have been at the forefront of agile transformation across multiple ‘physical’ GE businesses including Aviation, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, and Global Research. Each of these organizations pose different organizational and cultural adoption challenges and through real-life pictures, the speakers will share their journey and lessons-learned in driving GE’s transformation into a Digital-Industrial company. 


Bruns Nelvagal - Physical-Digital Transformation at a 125-year-old startup


Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to glean from the presenters some of the challenges in initiating and sustaining agile and how they can as an organization account for some of these same challenges and overcome pre-conceived notions that may manifest themselves in their own organizations. The participants will also leave with an appreciation for the complexities of agile in the industrial domain and how agile can play an important part as a learning, execution and experimentation engine. 

Sudhir Nelvagal

Sudhir NelvagalDigital Mission Leader @ GE Global Research

Sudhir Nelvagal is a Digital Mission Leader at GE’s Global Research Center based in Niskayuna, NY. He has 22 years of software engineering experience, developing relational database engines for the first 10 years of his career at a commercial database company. Since moving to GE 12 years ago, he has held various leadership roles in GE Healthcare, headed the Subsea Controls software group in GE Oil & Gas and is presently working on IoT technologies at GE’s research center since 2016. He has been a champion, practitioner and evangelist of all things Agile.

K. Lars Bruns

K. Lars BrunsTechnology Leader @ GE Global Research

Lars Bruns is a Technology Leader for GE Global Research’s Digital Breakout initiatives. He began his career at Andersen Consulting/Accenture where he worked in the financial services industry for ten years before transitioning into the healthcare industry with GE Healthcare in 2006. Lars has been driving agile and culture change initiatives for the past 10 years and has been leading teams at GE’s Global Research Center since 2013.


Sudhir Nelvagal



Subscribe to “Emergence: the Journal of Business Agility”

Delivered to your mailbox four times a year, we bring together a curated selection of exclusive stories by great thinkers and practitioners from around the globe that you’ll only find in our publications.

These stories, research reports, and articles were selected to broaden your horizons and spark your creativity.

BAI Individual Membership Benefits

  • Unrestricted access the business agility library

  • Download complete eBooks on the most pressing topics

  • Replay your favourite moments from any of the global Business Agility Conferences

  • Network with your peers from around the world

  • Member discount on your subscription to Emergence

1 / Infinity

October 6, 2022, 5 minutes read time

Connecting Coach to Business Need

September 12, 2022, 54 seconds read time

2022 State of Agile Coaching

July 10, 2020, 15 minutes read time

From Ensemble to Orchestra

December 5, 2020, 32 seconds read time

Leaning Into Culture During Times of Crisis

July 29, 2020, 26 minutes read time

Structural Agility

You have NaN out of 5 free articles to read

Please subscribe and become a member to access the entire Business Agility Library without restriction.